I am SO darn excited to share this vegan sweet corn curry recipe with you today.
I have been waiting more than a year to share it! In this curry, the fresh sweet corn is the definitive star, mingling delicately with the warming spices and coconut milk. So I recommend making it at the peak of summer when corn is at its best.
I actually made and photographed this sweet corn curry last summer during corn season. I loved it so much and couldn’t wait to write up the recipe. But when I was reviewing the photographs I was pretty unhappy with them; I told myself that I’d just get more corn at the farmers market that weekend and remake the dish. As luck would have it, Maryland corn season apparently ended abruptly at that moment*. When this summer rolled around, the first time I saw corn at my CSA pickup, I knew exactly what I’d be making. It was just as good as I remembered: smoky, tangy, and a little bit sweet, with plump kernels of corn in every bite.
*Unfortunately, the exact same thing has now happened to me this year, but with green tomatoes… so look forward to a great green tomato recipe next summer 😀
My vegan sweet corn curry is finished with a swirl of coconut milk, as opposed to the ghee or cream that other recipes I consulted used. If you make this you’ll end up with a partial can of coconut milk leftover; when I’m in that situation I usually dilute it with a little water and use it for my morning oatmeal, or other places as nondairy milk where the coconut flavor won’t clash. You can also substitute cashew cream if you prefer.
Because corn is already a grain, I found this corn curry was the perfect thing to pair with cauliflower rice to work some vegetables in for a more balanced meal. I fed the curry + cauliflower rice to an omnivore friend and he was profusely delighted with it all!
I hope you’ll give this unique and delightful recipe a try if corn is in season where you live. If you do, let me know how you like it; and tag your creations with @yupitsvegan or #yupitsvegan so that I can see!
Sweet Corn Curry
For the spice mix:
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 and 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or more regular paprika)
- 3/4 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the vegan sweet corn curry:
- 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 large white onion finely chopped
- 2 small green chilis thinly sliced (or 1 jalapeno)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 inch of ginger minced
- spice blend (see above)
- 3 cups fresh raw sweet corn kernels (for me, this was three cobs; feel free to also include any juices that come out of the corn)
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh tomatoes (about 10 oz.)
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- cauliflower rice for serving (or accompaniments of choice)
For the spice blend:
Roast the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the spices are fragrant and the coriander seeds start to take on a golden color, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the seeds to a grinder along with the rest of the spice mix ingredients, and blend into a fine powder. Set aside.
For the sweet corn curry:
Warm the oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the green chili, garlic, and ginger, and stir. Cook for 1 minute more.
Add the spice blend and stir. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomato and 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat back down to medium low, and cover the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are well broken down and the corn is cooked through, 20-30 minutes.
Uncover the pan and stir in the lemon juice and remaining coconut milk. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to warm the mixture. Season to taste with plenty of salt. Stir in half of the chopped fresh cilantro, and use the other half for garnishing on top. Serving suggestion: cauliflower rice!
I also tested and enjoyed the recipe substituting 3/4 cup of homemade cashew cream for the coconut milk.
If you can't get whole spices for toasting, you can substitute equal amounts by volume of pre-ground cumin, fenugreek, and corianer, and skip the toasting and grinding steps.
Nutrition information excludes cauliflower rice.
Recipe inspired by Sailu’s Food.
Have more summer corn than you know what to do with? Try these other recipes that feature it: